Creation of a woodland environment provides a much more diverse landscape for people, as well as a healthier habitat for insects and wildlife.
Jiading Central Park is a 70-hectare urban park in Shanghai, designed by Sasaki to stitch together originally fragmented open spaces, degraded canals, and their surrounding urban fabric in the rapidly growing Jiading district. Ecological improvement was set as one of the primary goals since the launch of design in 2008. Upon the park's opening in 2013, 100% native tree species on carefully graded terrains, constructed wetlands, and naturalized water edges have nurtured diverse habitat and intimate outdoor spaces.
Three years after its completion, Sasaki collaborated with East China Normal University's Regional Ecological Lab to conduct a full year post-occupancy evaluation for the park. Water quality, air quality, biomass, and microclimate were assessed monthly. Visual proof of the environmental improvement was supported and quantified by consistent measurements throughout the year. The independent research provided critical scientific evidence to validate the original design goals and ecological hypothesis, as well as offered valuable lessons to inform future practice.
High grasses and strategically placed nooks create opportunities for solitude-seekers to enjoy the park, and find escape from the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the perimeter.
The park’s plazas offer a residents a place to gather and play. The park includes the new Jiading Library, an amphitheater, cafe, and artists' studios—amenities that celebrate the city's culture and provide activities and entertainment to its citizens.